Flying the flag at half mast

Mourning is usually expressed by lowering the national flag to half mast.

Flags are normally lowered to half mast as soon as the information about the death of the person concerned has been received. If the message is received late in the day, the ceremony can be postponed to the following day.

When flying the flag at half mast, the flag should first be raised to the top of the pole and then lowered so that the flag's lower edge is in the middle of the pole. Before lowering the flag from the half-mast position, it should first be raised all the way to the top.

On the day of a funeral, the flag should first be flown at half mast, and after the funeral service and the burial, it should be raised to the top of the pole for the rest of the day. During the memorial service, the flag should be flown at full mast to salute the deceased and to honour his or her memory.

In the house of mourning, the flag can also be flown at half mast during the days stipulated by law and when flying it is an established custom.

Flying the flag at half mast is usually a display of private mourning. After a major disaster or the death of an important Finnish figure, the Ministry of the Interior can issue a general recommendation on flying the Finnish flag at half mast.